|Serge Collot, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Ludwig van Beethoven|
Beethoven: The Collector's Edition [50-CD Box Set]
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
Listen to Samples
A Fine Box of French Beethoven
Hans Kellner | 12/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Most of the material in this box hasn't been re-issued much in the United States. It is
mainly French EMI productions -- Cluytens/Berlin for the symphonies (around the time of the Karajan/Berlin recordings), Eric Heidsieck in the sonatas (recordings made from 1970 to 74, shortly after he had performed them all from memory in Paris, where the reviews were rapturous as I recall), Ferras in the violin sonatas, the wonderful Tortelier in the cello sonatas. The Oistrakh/Cluytens Beethoven violin concerto was one of my first classical purchases, 45 years ago. The Gilels/Vandernoot versions of the first two concertos disappeared long ago. It was for this French Beethoven tradition that I decided to buy this box before the new Brilliant set, with its less focused selection of performers (and more complete package with 85 cds).
The Hungarian Quartet's complete set, a Paris recording, was familiar from Seraphim lps. The Hungarian Trio, also a French production, was new to me, and fine.
The rest of the recordings -- Giulini (Missa), the Karajan FIDELIO -- were more familiar.
There is a sparse booklet, with only a list of the works and movements, disk by disk, and copyright dates. The packaging is poorly thought out, but can be managed with some reinforcement. This is my only complaint.
Each Western nation has its own tradition of music-making, its own group of revered performers, its own stylistic preferences. Here are the performers whom the French admired in the days before globalized marketing. At the price of just over a dollar per cd, this is a true bargain. Anyone can prefer to hear Beethoven played differently, but this is, at least in part, a picture of a distinct musical culture at a moment in time, the fifteen years from 1959 to 1974."
Beethoven for life
Jed | UK | 07/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Incredible value for a box set. Although it isn't *everything* that Beethoven recorded, it does contain the majority of his works.
1) It's by Beethoven, one of the greatest composers of all time. And there's 50 CDs. Obvious? Yeah, but it's worth mentioning again :D 20 years ago trying to get all this music on vinyl would have cost at least $1000, probably considerably more. Okay, maybe the idea of "budget Beethoven" might seem slightly tacky to some, but I'm not self conscious enough not to grab so much great music at such a low price.
2) Some very pleasant surprises in some of the more obscure works. If you've only heard the intro to the 5th Symphony and Moonlight Sonata would you have guessed that Beethoven did works for Mandolin and harpsichord, or variations on Scottish folk tunes?
1)Very spartan packaging. All you get is the box, CDs in papaer sleeves and a small booklet listing the tracks. No biography, commentary or pictures. Certainly not a "deluxe" edition.
2) Piano Concertos 1 & 2 are in mono, and the viloin sonatas are in poor stereo that sounds like mono.
3)And, IN MY OPNION, some of the slower movements in the piano sonatas sound too hurried. People can vote "unhelpful" for that if they want, but I still feel that a few of piano works lose some of the emotional impact by just being played too fast. I don't think they're bad I just prefer some other interpretatons.
In summary this box set represents a huge gold mine of great music for music lovers."